Stratford Historical Society and Museum

News from the Stratford Historical Society and Museum, in Stratford, Gippsland, Victoria. We are open Tuesdays from 10am to 3pm, and the fourth Sunday of the month from 2pm to 4pm. Our postal address is P.O. Box 145, Stratford, 3862.

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Location: Victoria, Australia

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Aprons and More Aprons


Sometimes there are photographs that you come across that just knock your socks off. This is one of them.

You can see the largest size HERE.

This is part of a group of women who ran a bazaar in the Stratford mechanics' Institute in 1899. The photograph is mounted on cardboard, on which has been professionally printed:

Stratford Mechanics' Institute Bazaar / Group of Stallholders / [back] Mrs WEBSTER, Mrs BREMNER, Mrs SEATON, Mrs MAYHEW, Mrs MILDENHALL. /[Middle Row] Miss HAZLETT, Miss M. MAYHEW, Miss REEVES, Miss KELLY / [Front Row] Mrs REEVES, Mrs KELLY (Treasurer), Mrs REFSHAUGE (President), Mrs DERBYSHIRE, Mrs DUCRET. Mr HOLT (Bazaar Sec). /
Presented to Mrs FREITAG. / By the Committee of the Mechanics' Institute Stratford, as a Memento of the Bazaar so successfully carried out by the Stallholders on the 12th, 13th, 14th and 16th October, 1899, whereby the sum of [pounds]400 was raised - an amount sufficient to clear the cost of building the additional rooms to the Institute. Absence from the district or illness prevented the group being complete. Mesdames Freitag, Wrigglesworth, Roach, J.Little, Brodie, Collins, Garden, Daniel and Misses Baylis, and McBain, were absent from one or other of the causes mentioned.

The thing that has always taken our eye has been the aprons. What was going on here? Was it a status thing to have the most ornate apron as you stood behind your own stall. Because this would have to be the most wonderful collection of aprons that we have ever seen.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Getting rid of Vermin


We have been thinking a bit about vermin eradication. George has just finished rebuilding the Briagolong Rabbit Suppression League poison cart. It came to us with all the wood except the shafts rotted out, and some of the metal needing replacement (and then there is the story about finding just one more link of agricultural chain...)

This is it when it came in today. We were left with no choice from having new looking wood - but at least that way you can see what was original. George matched all the same sizes from old wood - and even made the stand out of left over fence bits! The work on this refurbishment is stunning. Thank You George!

The other thing that is quite unusual, is that we have access to the minutes of the Briagolong Rabbit Supression League - not only do we have the cart, we know also how it was managed. So we can tell you exactly what dates this was in operation - just as soon as Linda unpacks the box in which she put them. [Late Note - she has found them. The cart was bought in late 1923, then the minutes stop]

These Rabbit Suppression Leagues (or Associations) operated just after 1900, probably until about the 1920s. For example, the Gippsland Rabbit Suppression Association was formed about 1904, once the Shires of Maffra and Avon managed to settle some personal differences. Later the local leagues were formed (there was one at Stockdale, and probably many others), and with them came the poison carts, whose schedule was determined by a local committee.

And, while we are talking vermin - we were delighted to receive last month the register/finance book for the Sparrow Club that operated from Craigielee, opposite the Nuntin Cemetery. This apparently met at 6pm on a certain day of the week, and went and shot sparrows - a quick check of the net assures us that the men of Stratford were not alone in this pursuit.


If you want to try and read the names, there is a larger copy HERE.

The club operated from 1899 to 1913 - when it probably closed as there were other more pressing matters on the minds of people - and all the good shots went off to war. But before that, men were paid a fee (we are still working on it, it may have been a penny, it may have been 4d per sparrow), and your quota in sparrows was important. And there were pigeons mentioned in there too.

This book definitely requires detailed analysis - and a transcription of names.